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What's in the budget for Cootamundra electorate

Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke at NSW Parliament House with Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photo: contributed
Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke at NSW Parliament House with Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photo: contributed

A number of items in the NSW budget announced this week will go towards benefiting people living in the Cootamundra electorate, including Young.

All preschoolers aged between three and six will get a $100 voucher for swimming lessons.

The vouchers were announced on Tuesday as part of the NSW state budget, which set aside $44 million to ensure more children are safer around the water.

At least one specialist child and adolescent mental health team will be established in the Murrumbidgee within the next four years.

The NSW government announced $109.5 million for 25 "Safeguards" mental health response teams, which will be spread across the state in a bid to improve access to wraparound care for young people.

The money was confirmed in Tuesday's budget.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District director of mental health Robyn Manzie said that any additional funding for mental health services was "good news", though the district was yet to receive specific details about the program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the new multidisciplinary teams will provide "rapid and flexible community care responses to children and adolescents in acute mental health distress".

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the "Safeguards" teams would provide community-based support to help children, teens and their families coordinate crisis care and then transition into longer term supports.

A free pre-school program was extended into 2022.

The new Start Strong Free Preschool program, announced in Tuesday's budget, will replace the current COVID-19 Free Preschool Funding program that has been supporting families since the beginning of the pandemic.

Up to 740 community preschools across the state will benefit from the $150 million investment.

The program allows families to save up to $4000 per year per child in preschool, Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said.

Ms Cooke she was thrilled the government is continuing to fund this program.

"This program is supporting more than 45,000 eligible children, keeping our children learning and engaged during some of their most formative years," she said.

Cootamundra electorate highlights:

  • $99.4 million for works on the Newell Highway, which includes $3 million for flood mitigation between West Wyalong and Forbes;
  • $2.3 million in 2021-22 (as part of a $70.2 million project) for the Cowra Hospital Redevelopment;
  • $6 million announcement for the establishment of the Canowindra HealthOne medical facility;
  • $300,000 to restore the grandstand at Cootamundra Racecourse;
  • $300,000 for upgrades at West Wyalong Aerodrome;
  • A new Family Care Centre for Cowra, and another to be located at Griffith as part of a $12.2 million investment with Tresillian and the Gidget Foundation;
  • $13.7 million to continue works on the joint-use library and community facility at Young;
  • An additional $1.2 million for social housing upgrades;
  • Funding to progress early works associated with the Wyangala Dam wall raising project.
  • Extension of the Regional Seniors Travel Card for another two years.

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